May 18, 2007

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Last week when I made my decision I wrote a post & saved it, planning on editing it later. I'm scrapping it (save for a few select parts) & starting over.

I've updated the Bloggers Firearm Instruction page & added some links to the "Notable Posts" & "Blogroll" section of the sidebar. I'm not sure if it's best to include this here or leave it in the extended entry (that "always leave them laughing" mantra is hard to escape at times) but here's the clip of So Long & Thanks For All The Fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (ya gotta admit the baby dolphin part is cute as hell). Or if you prefer here's the scene from the Guide entry where it explains how God doesn't exist. Listen to it now or later at your leisure.

But the gist is that I'm not going to be writing here anymore. In fact I'll be writing here a lot less. I'm quitting in other words. I don't know if it will be permanent or just a very long sabbatical, but I know I'm not going check my site every day (or week or likely month). My guest bloggers/co-bloggers are of course welcome to post here as they always have been. But any new content will be them, not I.

Much thanks to Pixy for the space & to the folks who have read my words & argued with me about them over the years. I'll still be accessible for the friends I've made through here or who keep in touch via the site - my number & e-mail are the same. & I'll leave the Bloggers Firearm Instruction page up as long as Pixy will allow, & I'll update it every few months or so.

I'll ramble a bit in the extended entry about why I'm quitting. It'd be more interesting if I was quitting because of a lady, but in fact the opposite is true; I carried on as long as I did for a lady.

To be conciseÖ that's always eluded me. I'll try though.

I quit playing music because of circumstances. There's a blogger I know by the name of Harrington who reflected back on what made him quit & his experiences aren't that dissimilar from mine. In effect I "shrugged" in the Randian sense of the word. I saw too much effort being put into too little return, therefore I simply stopped. In fact aside from 2 exceptions (one being a close friend's passing) I haven't played my guitar in about 6 months.

So with the blog I'm "shrugging" but for slightly more complex reasons.

I started writing in blog format mainly to have a place to store arguments I'd find myself repeating in forums that I'd frequent. At some point I noticed that I wasn't hanging out in the forums any more. Then I rationalized 9for about 2 seconds) that I was writing to impress my then-current g/f. But her respect &/or admiration for me evaporated too quickly for me to use that as an excuse. Then I settled in on the idea that I was writing to make a difference. I never thought my take on things would catch on right now, but maybe in 50 or 500 years some kid would find my scribblings & be inspired to explore my ideas. I know, but I've always been a bit of a dreamer about such things.

The lady. Where & how she comes into things is too complex & too difficult to write accurately, but she's someone I care for very much. Around July I was thinking of giving things up here. But she & I - well she provided some sort of inspiration I guess. So I wrote.

In November (maybe October - it's hard to say exactly when she became estranged from me or when I became estranged from her) we fell out. & it was pretty bad on my end. In addition to some other factors converging around that time I did stop writing. But I noticed through my site stats that she kept coming around the blog. 3, sometimes 4 times a week even though we weren't speaking & I wasn't writing.

So I started writing again. For her.

At first I thought I was just getting back into my groove, but oddly enough Iíve learned lately that at times I say things to other folks that really arenít meant for them. In essence I sometimes try to tell other people things so I can figure my damn self out. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Despite our estrangement (& whether she or I were responsible for it - it's arguable either way) I care for her deeply. & since she was coming around I wanted her to have something from it. So I wrote.

But then I noticed something strange. At times I felt like I was writing not just for her, but almost to her. She was my target & sole audience in many posts that I wrote. I'd slip in little things that I thought she'd get a kick out of - I did that consciously, the "no; not that kind of rock" gag being the most oft repeated - but I started to realize I wasn't writing for the masses, or posterity, or even for myself. It was in the hopes that it'd amuse m'lady.

Funny, I've often speculated that if I were visiting her web site that it'd bother her in a "he's stalking me" sort of way (for the record I haven't been to her site since mid November) but it didn't bother me that she was still reading me. In fact I took some sort of odd comfort from seeing when she'd visit & read for a spell.

Now why would a lady who's no longer on speaking terms with me still read my blog? No idea. There are a few theories. One is that she's worried that I'll slander her in some way because of our falling out (which would mean that she really didn't know me that well). The one that's most popular amongst the few folks I've discussed the situation with is that for some reason she doesn't think direct contact with me would be wise, but she wants to keep some sort of an emotional bond with me & reading my blog accomplishes that for her. Of course that appeals to my ego too much, especially since it'd point to the idea that she cares & may wish to reconcile one day, so I try not to put too much weight on it.

I simply do not know. I just know that I miss her & perhaps she took some sort of comfort from reading me.

See I'm a sucker. Any cat will tell you that the second I walk into a room. With women I usually have my act more together but from the moment I met her I had a sweet spot set up just for her. Considering the circumstances of our estrangement I try not to let myself think she gives a damn about me in any capacity, but even that doesn't alter my compassion for her. So since I thought it might please her in some way, I wrote.

Sappy isn't it? I wish I could play it off as just part of my upbringing but it's not so much that. I just care for the girl. I don't care for many folks, especially not in the way I care for her, so it motivated me to try to keep our odd virtual connection.

& just to be clear, neither she nor I did anything morally wrong to cause our falling out. We simply did a few things that the other didn't care for & neither one of us had the best circumstances to try any sort of relationship in. I had a few things external to our situation that I was trying to deal with (albeit very poorly Ė it took me a few months to figure things out) as did she. So I don't want it assumed this is any sort of indictment against her. She's not perfect but I still think as highly of her as I do anyone. I just happen to think (on the surface at least, internally it's hard to accept) that she simply doesn't care in any meaningful way to associate with me, nor will she ever.

In any case I realized this more completely around the time I was interviewing Annika. In fact I deleted part of our conversation concerning this situation (my blogging motivation) & that's when it hit me the extent of what I was trying to do for her.

Which is why I'm quitting blogging. If I didn't I'd write damn near eternally (divided up into at least two posts) solely for her pleasure. & that'd be cool & all - hell I'd do damn near anything for her if she needed me to - if it weren't wrong of me.

For a 4 page post I usually spend 2 to 3 hours writing & researching. When I'm writing 7 days a week I spend between 20 & 40 hours of my time writing posts. Now I've learned to take it easier than I used to over the years, but I work hard. My job isn't that demanding physically but its 5 days a week now (for example in December I worked the entire latter half of the month, save x-mas & the solstice so Iíve cut down a bit). When I'm not working if I don't have someone to do something with I'll work in my spare time. Either on some project (i.e. building rifles, improving rifles, building furniture, working on my car, etc...) or here. If I have someone to do something else with (such as a g/f or at least someone I'm dating) then I can branch out & have fun, but without the "excuse" of entertaining someone else then I just work. (& honestly the last few months Ė maybe longer Ė Iíve giving up on the dating scene. Iíve had a few but nothing that I really cared to continue)

Funny, when I was playing music full time the more I'd gig the more I'd practice, but if I had few gigs I'd barely practice. There's gotta be something deeply psychologically telling in that, but I can't quite figure out what.

But it's wrong for me to expend as much effort as I am for someone's pleasure when I'm not even sure if I'm getting anything in return. At least that's what I'm telling myself. I don't really think that concerns me too much; as I said I'd do damn near anything that I could for her (even if I feel a bit like a sucker for doing so), I just get the sense that it's not helping the situation she & I are in (or not in as the case may be) if I use her as an audience & she uses my posts as some way to feel connected. She has my number & she knows where I live. I'm stubborn & perhaps a bit too quick to tell anyone to go to hell, but she should know that I'll always listen to her, or talk to her if she wishes.

So I'm not quitting because I'm frustrated with my love life (or lack thereof). It's because of the lady that I kept writing as long as I did. I just don't feel it's proper for me to write under the motivation that I have - namely that it's for her & not for myself. Hell, I don't even know if she still likes to read me or just hits my page out of habit, or to see if I've left town so she can start hanging out in my town again w/o worrying about running into me. The only feedback I've seen from her was on someone else's blog that I linked to (I recognized her writing - when you start missing the way someone types you know itís not a good so it could be that my rejection is complete & she doesn't dig my posts at all. With that in mind I just cannot justify the time & effort it takes to maintain this site.

& honestly I'm not that special a writer. There are many others (most of my blogroll in fact) who write better than I do & have similar or more developed views on the things I've written about. I donít think the blogosphere is going to miss me that much & I doubt her world will stop or even stutter if I stop writing.

So lack of internal motivation coupled with an external motivation that I find questionable for myself in some way is why I'm going to make this my last post.

& yes; somewhere very deep down inside I do hope that when/if she reads this that it'll give her the motivation to get off her ass & re-think this whole "not talking to Pub" thing as I'm way too stubborn to approach her with hat in hand asking for another chance. But luckily I've never been that much of an optimist so when it does not occur I won't be too shocked. Disappointed still most certainly, but not shocked.

As to what I'll do - who knows? I might leave the state & become a guitar player again someplace (though I really do like Colorado). I might stay around & go back to school. I might even say to hell with everything & take off on an extended camping trip. Or I might just work my job & go hermit (which I've partially done already - years of playing in clubs make quiet nights at home kinda cool) & fade into virtual & concrete obscurity (while in some alternate dimension Iíll run a successful chain of pirate apparel stores). Then there's always the "buying a sailboat & touring the world" option...

But I do appreciate y'all taking the time to read me, both today & over the years. Wish I could have been more helpful, or at least provided a delicious bass (you folks on the coast have no idea how much you'll miss seafood in a landlocked state).

& don't worry - "Publicola" is a good pseudonym. In a few weeks or months or years I'm sure a better writer than I will adopt it & carry on some cause, hopefully a good one. As for the guy behind this incarnation of "Publicola" - I'm a survivor. I'll be alright & land on my feet in some capacity whenever I decide to, even if I miss a lady & a cat whose name I never could get quite right.

Posted by Publicola at May 18, 2007 07:01 AM | TrackBack

I hope it's temporary. If not, you'll be missed.

Posted by: SayUncle at May 18, 2007 06:47 AM

It has always been a pleasure to read what you have to say -- regardless of your motivation for writing.

I hope you again find something to feel passionate about doing -- something you do just for what _you_ get out of it.

Posted by: BobR at May 18, 2007 07:39 AM

What Uncle said.

Posted by: Xrlq at May 18, 2007 07:40 AM

You will be missed.

But I know what it's like to be in those shoes. You're doing the right thing given what's been motivating you, and you'd not do yourself or the lady any favors staying at it. She's got your number if she wants to use it. For you, hang up those shoes and let 'em gather a bit of dust, focus on other things until you get yourself sorted out.

You'll be happier that way, and if the lady wants back in your life someday, you'll make a better Romeo with the wounds healed.

Posted by: TriggerFinger at May 18, 2007 07:40 AM

What Uncle said x2

Oh, and btw, I've quite blogging 4 or 5 times already. I think Les Jones is actually keeping track, ask him. In either case, I'm betting we see you again before too long.

Posted by: countertop at May 18, 2007 09:00 AM

What ever you finally decide, I wish you well and good luck.

Posted by: Jeff Soyer at May 18, 2007 01:04 PM

Hope to see you return real soon.

Posted by: Gunner at May 18, 2007 02:25 PM

I'm going to miss you!

Posted by: ken at May 18, 2007 03:54 PM

We're all going to miss you. Hope you take a break and feel like writing again and we can hear from you in the future.

Posted by: Fodder at May 18, 2007 04:34 PM

I can understand where you're comin' from Pub. Shame to hear it, though.

Also, you're being too modest. You write better than you give yourself credit for.

And, 6 months? Well, I guess if you don't feel like playing, you don't. Hope I get to hear you sometime though.

When you feel like writing for the right reasons, it'll be good to read you again.

Posted by: jed at May 18, 2007 05:19 PM

Say it's not so!

You're always welcome to post at my place if there's something you just have to get out there.

from Traction Control

Posted by: USCitizen at May 18, 2007 06:16 PM

I get "Shrugging" in an Ayn Rand manner.

Thanks for letting us (or me at least) freeload for a spell.

Posted by: Rob at May 18, 2007 08:31 PM

If you really want this woman in your life and you do. Then you will have to eat crow. Maybe you could send her a card and tell her that you are a fool for letting her get a away. You will try to do better even if is not much hope that you can. Maybe y'all could meet for coffee and see how things go. Best Wishes!

Posted by: harp at May 18, 2007 10:11 PM

Maybe she just continued to check out your blog to watch the coming train wreck. I know that's one reason I continue to stop by. Another reason was this wasn't the a gun blog, (a gun blog being filled with happy posts for every time a story is told of a subject getting an Fing PERMIT to bear arms). No, this was a gun RIGHTS blog, a freedom blog of the highest standard. Depending on perspective, the musing of the mind of a traitor or patriot. (I, of course, decided patriot long ago, but only time will tell how the rest of the world judges you).

Our current society doesn't much favor those of us who do "what is right" over "what is convenient", (or at least hold those standards and ATTEMPT to live the life). If, (let's face it, WHEN), the guns come out, dying for freedom will be a worthy choice, (make my task easier and take some bastards with ya when ya go), who really wants to love a dead guy? Maybe I'm reading too far into your lady story? Maybe I'm talking more about my own relationship? Maybe both...

Still, it is good for freedom fighters to keep a low profile, (no one wants to be in prison, when the fun begins). Yet that is exactly what we choose to risk simple because it is the right thing to do. We have to at least ATTEMPT those standards.

While I am sorry to see you go, I am now much happier knowing you are out there with us.

As Jayne said with a smile and joy trembling in his voice, "You guys started a riot? On account of me?"

Until then...
Y.B. Canary
known by another name

Posted by: YBC at May 19, 2007 08:21 AM

Admit it: You're just fleeing the sh!tstorm you created by writing "I come not to praise the 1911, but to bury it!"


I'm sorry to see you go, but I absolutely understand burnout. Our conversations have been interesting, as well (point of interest: that number doesn't work anymore - I changed jobs, and it was a company cell phone.)

Take some time. Reconsider. And if you still don't want to write, we'll understand.

Posted by: Kevin Baker at May 19, 2007 01:19 PM

Well, I hate to see you go, but I can understand. Take it easy, and check back in once an a while, if just to let us know you're still out there, somewhere in the real world.

Posted by: The Freeholder at May 20, 2007 06:46 PM

I've enjoyed reading your scribblings, Publicola. I've quit blogging myself, two or three times. Nowadays I write for one and only one reason. I have something to say, and I can't not say it. Hopefully, you'll be back when that happens to you.

Posted by: Bill St. Clair at May 21, 2007 05:11 AM

I'm also sorry to see you retire - somewhat, if it is temporary, and extremely so if it is permanent. Your writings and opinion have been incredibly well-informed, informative, short, good writing. You'll be missed in direct proportion to the amount of time that we gunnies out there are deprived of your knowledge, wit and concern.

Posted by: Paul W at May 24, 2007 03:19 PM

You've got my email as well. Drop a line once in a while, just to say 'hey'.

On a happier note, my college-age daughter and her friend are here for the weekend, and asked if they could do some shooting in the backyard with our pellet pistol. :)

Posted by: Ted at May 27, 2007 05:22 PM

I sincerely hope this break from blogging is temporary and not permanent... I will admit that I did not stop by here as often as I meant to in the past, but that is solely due to my own hair-brained nature. Your writing has always been informative and thought-provoking. Best of luck.

Posted by: Linoge at June 3, 2007 08:42 PM

I keep hoping that this is something that you'll reconsider. I wanted to call you and talk about it, but I can't find your damned number.

If you have the chance, you should try to give me a call tomorrow. I also hope you'll make it out to the bash--I have a gift for you.

Anyway, hope to talk to you soon.

Posted by: zombyboy at June 10, 2007 08:26 PM

Pub, sorry to see she affected you that much. I've enjoyed your writing almost as much as trying to explain how to gunsmith to you Bud. You've got my phone number, anytime you need to talk,rant,rail or whatever. always enjoy talking to you.

Posted by: Dave at June 25, 2007 05:11 PM